This single crust apple pie, is amazing because it needs no lattice, no top crust—no finishing on the surface at all! It’s stunning all by itself due to some thoughtful (but not difficult—I swear!) arrangement of apples. Best of all, it tastes amazing, the texture of the apples is the perfect combination of soft with a little crispness, and they get a sort of roasty flavor from being uncovered during their bake time. It’s truly a stunner all on its own, and very easy to recreate.
Lightly flour the work surface. Roll out the dough into a circle ¼ inch thick. To transfer the dough to the pie pan, roll the dough up onto the rolling pin, starting at the far edge of the round. With the pie pan in front of you, start at the edge closest to you and gently unfurl the dough into the pan. Press gently to make sure the crust settles all the way to the bottom, but be careful not to poke any holes in the dough. Trim away the excess dough, leaving a ½ nch overhang all around. Chill in the refrigerator for 20 to 30 minutes, or freeze for 5 to 10 minutes.
Tuck the excess dough under at the edges, pressing lightly to help “seal” the dough to the outer rim of the pie pan. Return the dough to the refrigerator for 20 to 30 minutes or to the freezer for 5 to 10 minutes. Crimp the edges of the piecrust as desired.
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit, preferably with a baking stone on the bottom rack. Prick the dough all over with a fork. Cut a square of parchment slightly larger than the pie pan. Place the parchment over the crust and fill with pie weights or dried beans. Bake the crust on the stone or bottom rack just until the edges barely begin to turn golden, 15-20 minutes.
Remove the parchment and weights and return the pan to the oven for another 2-4 minutes, just until slightly more golden around the edges and the base looks dry. Let cool completely.
Use a sharp knife to quarter the apples, then I core each quarter individually by laying it on the cutting board on one of its cut sides, holding the knife at a 45-degree angle, and cutting out the core in a single motion. The apples then have a flat base (where the core was), so they can lie flat on the cutting board, which makes it easier to slice them thinly. Cut into slices about ¼ inch thick.
In a large bowl, stir the sugar, brown sugar, cornstarch, spices, and salt to combine. Add the apples and toss well to combine.
Starting on the outer edge of the pie crust, arrange the apple slices in a tight spiral – the pieces should be overlapping each other by about ¾ way. Continue the tight spiral inward. Place the final pieces in a circle to create the center of the rosette look.
Drizzle any of the juices from the bowl over the apples. Stir the unsalted butter and boiled cider together (if using), then brush this mixture evenly over the apples.
Transfer to the oven, reduce the temperature to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and continue to bake until the crust is deeply golden and the apples are tender, 35-40 minutes.
Cool completely (or at least 20 minutes) before serving.
I always carry three kinds of hot sauce in my purse. I have a soft spot for making people their favorite dessert, especially if it's pie. My first cookbook, The Fearless Baker, is out on October 24, 2017.